Net Neutrality & Mobile Gaming Parallels

Lawrence Lessig links to a RampRate market commentary about how Net Neutrality” will seriously hurt online gaming. Like global warming, with Net Neutrality I’ve had a bunch of articles shoved in my face and expected to take them as fact and act upon them vs. discussion, research into the facts, and a clear, widely accepted tangible solution. So, while I get the general idea and thus threat of Net Neutrality I’m still extremely skeptical. Congress is 1 for 1 for me on the with regards to the internet. Their prevention of online taxes for so long is perceived for me as awesome to spur growth. Ted Steven’s rant about tubes, while not a neccessarey true representation of the tech knowledge of my Senate, still doesn’t seem to bode well. I’m indifferent about online gambling.

In short, not sure what to think.

For the sake of disscussion, let’s assume Network Neutrality truly means speed prioritization of internet service based on paying a higher fee to Internet Service Providers. The article makes a really good comparison to Mobile based on this assumption in the ” Parallels with Mobile” section, specifically mobile gaming. I think this could apply to any mobile software service, though, since they have the same distribution mechinism. Their bullet points pretty much summarzie my attitude as a developer towards Flash Lite, at least as a USA developer. Mainly being forced to assume insane business risk with weird revenue sharing, no easy access to the direct consumer, and having success held on the thread of being “chosen” by the operator to be put on the phone if they “feel like it”.

I know of one guy in the US here in Atlanta doing work for oversea’s mobile clients. That’s just one guy, and yet, any Flash Developer is hard to judge “the rest of the market” by because we are so small in number compared to other software programmer industries.

Anyway, this paragraph summarized it for me; the whole bloody section hit home:

In short, when the network controlled the content, developers could not effectively iterate towards improvement or be fairly rewarded for their accomplishments. Their businesses and products suffered, which in turn severely retarded market development. Mobile gaming today is probably better on an original GameBoy than on the latest smartphone. And for all the limitless possibilities of using unique portability and location features to create new gaming communities, there is no World of Warcraft or Everquest or Second Life on mobile. If IP networks become akin to mobile networks in their restrictiveness, we may all find out why billion dollar revenue generators such as these die off.

That “Parallels with Mobile” section is to me an accurate assessment of the mobile industry as perceived by a wanna-be Flash Lite developer right now. As such, if that accurate assessment is also an accurate assessment of Network Neutrality with regards to online gaming, yeah, major suck ahead, hard to port! The #1 problem with online gaming is lag, and if Network Neutrality increases ping time vs. the trend that has continued for years in ping time being LOWERED, then well… bummer.

I’m not saying my life would be a different place if her majesty had said “lol” 8 seconds later vs. 1 second… I just wonder if it would of even happened online in the first place had Network Neutrality actually come to fruition when Star Wars Galaxies first started. Scary thought.

Email False Positives – My New Daily Tragedy

I’ve got 1995 emails after just a weekend, 75 of those made it through Mail, Apple’s default email program. 35 of those “not junk” emails are spam. I’ve been prompted in the past to make Junk mail automatically head to the junk folder, but I got too many false positives, incorrect marking of legitimate email as spam, to feel comfortable doing so. I don’t have time anymore, however, to continue to teach Mail what is good email. I’ve turned it on so I can move on with my life.

I can whine about the fact that I’m losing good email, be a studious developer, and implement the various server-side / client side methods that exist out there. I don’t, however, have time. Email is screwed; it’s built on a flawed platform of not verifying authenticity.

X gens on back to baby boomers wonder why us Y gens really don’t get all uppity about privacy issues, like blogging our personal lives, voluntarily installing spy ware, and handing over personal information on disparate websites. Yes, a few of us think the US government’s various privacy violations need to have multiple people be held accountable because they are wrong, but bottom line is the perception is different. One of the reasons is, we recognize the value of identity and the power it entails by knowing, for sure, another’s identify. Social networking systems abound that allow control over our relationships. It’s not so much retaining control of our data, but rather getting more control over our communications with others.

Email has no forced identify, and therefore, has no control. As such, it has slid far from my personal social network. Yes, I still get and read emails, but the time invested is getting less and less return. Many attempts have been made to off load the work to the sender by clicking those authorize email links in auto-responders. I’ll never click those as they themselves are spam messages and do not adapt to changing email addresses.

Instead, the move to a stronger identify has strengthened my network. For example, I now text a whole lot more than I did last year. I used to hear on the news and blogs that “kids” these days were textting, and thought email was something old people used. I thought textting was pretty dumb. Now, I use it all the time. Unlike my wife who gets copious amounts of incorrect text messages, I get text messages from people I know. I don’t get spam. You can’t send me a text message unless you know my phone number, which isn’t hard to get. For now, I have more control. I’ve gotten spammed twice in my life on IM. I have various identities on IM to ensure I have control over “how much presence” I truly am exposing. My phone numbers are still my #1 fave to communicate.

Textting, IM, and phone calls rock. Email sucks.

On the flip-side, I need to be accessible to potential new clients, friends & family, and other people asking me questions, hence I have 3 email addresses. I’ll let Mail’s junk filter, SpamSoap, and whatever Google uses handle the frontal assaults. While spam does get through, it is extremely manageable now, and 3 points of contact allows an easier time of communication.

While it is a shame I don’t have time to remove all false positives from my life, this is the world I live in and I need to move on. It’s email’s fault for not being built with spam control built into the protocol. Networking is one the pivotal things that helped me be successful. It is hard to walk the fine line how you communicate with those in your network to ensure relevance, and generally filter out the signal to noise ratio for both friends and business. I’d say this year email took the biggest hit in terms of relevance. My primary means of interacting with the world is via email, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Yet today I just pressed “apply” on settings dialog that could negatively impact my life.

Drama Queen? Sure. Worried? Don’t have time. Email is very important to me and I have no choice but to put faith in the email that gets through being relevant.